Artist Kia Neill covered a lot of ground in her weeklong residency in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Neill, one of four artists coming to the valley in 2017 through Wilderness Workshop’s artist-in-wilderness program, set out on daily hikes through the wilderness seeking inspiration. In her first few days here, Neill explored the Lost Man and Linkins Lake trails, photographed wildflowers on Independence Pass, popped into the Grottos, made her way to the flanks of Mount Sopris at Thomas Lakes and hoofed it above Ashcroft to Cathedral Lake.

“Primarily, I want to absorb as much as I can,” she explained last week.

Neill does have a looming deadline to tend to while she’s in residence at a cabin near the Roaring Fork River outside Aspen. She’s opening a solo exhibition of 30 paintings and drawings at Naropa University on Sept. 8. But that’s not keeping her out of the woods while she’s here.

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